IFC's accountability mechanism releases approach to reprisals which addresses vulnerable individuals in its process

Author: Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO), Published on: 11 October 2017

"CAO Approach to Responding to Concerns of Threats and Incidents of Reprisals in CAO Operations", 10 Oct 2017

 The Office of the Compliance Advisor Ombudsman (CAO) is the independent recourse and accountability mechanism for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA)...People who come to CAO are often vulnerable and may fear that submitting a Complaint...puts them at risk of reprisal for doing so...Types of threats of reprisals against complainants and others engaging or seeking to engage in a CAO process...can range from fears for a person’s job or standing at work...loss of reputation in community or workplace, to threats of physical violence to people themselves or their family members, and even criminalization or incarceration as a result of speaking out against the impacts of a project. People’s concerns for their...safety and wellbeing can prevent affected people from filing complaints to seek redress for anticipated or experienced social and/or environmental impacts associated with IFC/MIGA projects...Recognizing that every case context is unique and different, CAO takes a flexible approach, which can be adapted to different situations, but is always guided by core principles, as noted above: peaceful resolution of disputes, confidentiality, complainant participation and informed consent, and intent to prevent harm.  

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